This is not sponsored. I just like Novel Editions.
Book boxes are bookish mail, which is awesome, but they’re also a great way to discover books, genres, and authors you might otherwise disregard. Many book boxes also include a few token gifts related to the books or the box’s theme. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find ones that are Canadian. Doubly so, if you’re looking for general fiction (YA seems to be the most popular book box genre).
There are a number of US and UK based subscriptions boxes, but given the value of our loonie these days, they’re not worth the cost, even before adding shipping. Thankfully, I found a Canadian adult fiction book subscription service: Novel Editions.
Novel Editions, which is run by Alex, has monthly themes, a book or two, and a few small gifts related to the theme or book. Alex also hosts a monthly online book discussion, which is relaxed and casual (you’re not expected to have studied the book – it’s just friendly chit-chat). The book group Facebook page is also open to other bookish chit-chat at any time.
Here are the books (and my thoughts) since I started my subscription:
- Theme: Enchanted
- Book: The Witches of New York, by Ami McKay
As soon as I read the book summary, I was worried – it didn’t sound like the kind of book that I usually pick up. But, despite a slow start and a lot of unanswered questions (clearly, there’s a sequel coming), it was a fun and interesting female centered adventure. The gifts were very apt: tea, lavender and bubble bath (tea, herbs and potions – all relevant to the novel).
I talk more about it in my book review.
I was a little disappointed with February’s box, but only because I didn’t feel that the books weren’t great choices – one didn’t match the theme very well and the other was by an author with dubious claims to indigenous heritage (someone whose work I’m currently avoiding). That said, they’re both excellent books and I’m glad they were shared with so many readers.
- Theme: Dark Love
- Book: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
This book started out great, but I was really annoyed with it fairly quickly. Despite this, I don’t regret reading it because it’s an interesting concept and quite suspenseful. But, to be honest, the only reasons I didn’t quit the book was because of the book club.
You can read my review to get the full scope of my annoyance.
- Theme: Sweet Spring
- Book: A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
I’m very excited about this book. I discovered Andrew Wyeth by accident last year and I love his paintings (especially his paintings of windows). I coincidentally bought a used book of his art a few weeks ago and the cashier mentioned this book. A couple days later, Alex gave us a hint about April’s book and I was very excited about the possibility that it was the same book. I’ve been eagerly waiting for the box ever since, hoping that my guess was correct. I haven’t started it yet, but it’s on the top of my pile.
This month’s box also had my favourite set of gifts (honey, lavender linen spray and some wooden plant markers).
I’ve only been subscribed for a couple months, but I’m really enjoying the boxes and book club. The variety of books have been really good and, so far, they’ve all been good reads or good fuel for discussion. Also, this has been a great way to expand my reading – half of the books are ones that I would never have picked for myself (much more, if you look back to the month’s prior to when I started my subscription). And, while I didn’t enjoy March’s book, I did go looking for other mysteries or thrillers to read (including a great one by Louise Penny, A Great Reckoning) because it was a good reminder of how much fun it can be to read mysteries and thrillers.
Do you subscribe to a book box? Do you know of any good Canadian ones I should check out? Or, does your local book store provide a similar service? (I wish mine did!)